Think you have a UTI? Well, urinary tract infections are extremely common, especially for women. Although UTIs can be very painful for some, many people don't even know they have one. But for those that get bogged down with pain and miss days of work, treating a UTI fast is imperative.
UTIs can happen to anyone – men, women, even children. A UTI (urinary tract infection) is a bacterial infection that occurs when bacteria gets into the urinary system (urethra, bladder, kidneys.) This can easily happen from sexy time, bathroom time, or just a pH imbalance. It is estimated that about 50% of women will have at least one in their lifetime. But if you know the signs and act on them fast, you should be good to go in no time.
Know The Signs of a UTI
If you are experiencing some pain or pressure down there, and think it could be a UTI, here are some commonly reported symptoms.
- A burning sensation when you urinate
- A strong urge to urinate often, yet only pass a small amount each time
- Urine looks cloudy or may contain blood
- Urine has a strong odor
- Lower back or lower abdomen pain
- Pressure in the lower abdomen
- Chills, nausea, and/or vomiting
If you have any of these symptoms, there is a good chance you have a UTI. We suggest following these steps to effectively treat your UTI and feel better fast.
6 Steps for Treating a UTI
Step 1: Take an at-home UTI test or make an appointment to see your doctor. Either way, if the test is positive, your doctor will most likely prescribe antibiotics (Bactrim, Macrobid, or Cipro are the most common.) Make sure to take the entire amount prescribed, or the infection may come back. Of course, you can nix the meds and try at-home remedies to help a UTI, but those can take longer to feel better. Most people start to feel some relief within 24 hours of starting antibiotics, but the infection will take a few days to go away. Can't get an appointment? Use the Checkable app to connect to healthcare providers and get a treatment plan!
Step 2: Don’t be shy with pain meds. They are made for pain, so if it hurts down there, try over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin), while waiting for your antibiotics to work. We also suggest taking Phenazopyridine (AZO or Uristat) if you are experiencing burning while peeing. Just don’t take it right before your urine culture!
Step 3: Pee when you have to. Try not to hold it in for long periods of time. It will make the pain worse. It’s important to flush out your system when fighting bacteria, so peeing is the best route.
Step 4: Drink lots of water and stay hydrated. This goes hand-in-hand with the tip above. Water helps flush out the bacteria, so the more you drink, the better your chances are of getting toxins out.
Step 5: Refrain from caffeine, alcohol, and sex. This part is definitely a drag, but just until your symptoms subside. Alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration and can irritate the bladder. Sex can bring more harmful bacteria into the urinary tract causing your UTI to worsen. So, binge-watch a TV show instead.
Step 6: Take supplements. Vitamin C, Probiotics, and D-Mannose will help boost your immune system and provide good bacteria that antibiotics can sometimes kill. D-Mannose helps keep the bacteria from sticking to your bladder walls and is a powerful supplement to combat UTIs, especially when combined with cranberry juice powder. We suggest Checkable's Urinary Tract Balance to help support the urinary tract while giving you the nutrients needed to promote a healthy bladder.
If you follow those six simple tips, your UTI will be gone in no time. If left untreated, complications can cause more severe conditions, including bladder or kidney infections, and you don’t want that. If you happen to get recurring UTIs, check out our guide with valuable tips to help prevent UTIs from making them a thing of the past!